Psychology graduate students awarded NSF fellowship, other honors

Author: Carrie Gates

Ian Campbell 300
Ian Campbell

Seven graduate students in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology recently won competitive fellowships and scholarships.

Ian Campbell has been awarded a 2016 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, which honors students pursuing research-based degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the social sciences.

Campbell said the NSF fellowship is a great honor, which will give him more time to focus on his research and establish a strong base for his career.

“Without a doubt, I would not have won this fellowship without the help and support of my faculty mentors and the Office of Grants and Fellowships,” he said. “This award is as much a recognition of my advisers and Notre Dame as it is of me.”

He chose Notre Dame for his graduate studies because of the strength of the quantitative psychology program and its faculty.

“My mentors have been instrumental in guiding and directing my research,” he said. “I’ve really felt like my career and my success have always been a top priority for all the faculty I have interacted with.”

Campbell also appreciates the program’s close connection with the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Science—and has earned a master’s degree in ACMS while pursuing his Ph.D. in psychology.

His research examines the model selection process and different ways of correcting for model selection uncertainty when analyzing human behavior data.

“Most conclusions from psychology studies, whether published in academic journals or adapted for news stories, are conditional on the selected model being the best model in every future sample—but that is usually not true with real data,” he said. “There is actually a level of uncertainty around which model is best, and if this uncertainty is not accounted for, then a study’s conclusions might be substantially less reliable than we think.”

Six other psychology Ph.D. students have also earned competitive fellowships and scholarships in recognition of their research.

  • Mengyu Melinda Gao received an International Peace Scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year. The scholarship aims to support women from other countries for graduate study in the United States, with the belief that education is fundamental to world peace and understanding.

  • Kristina Krasich was accepted into the Summer Seminars in Philosophy and Neuroscience (SSNAP) fellowship program through Duke University and The Templeton Foundation. This one-year fellowship includes a two-week seminar series at Duke, discussing the inquiry in philosophy and neuroscience and funding for a culminating fellowship project. The fellowship is the result of a collaboration between Krasich and Samuel Murray, a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy. Both belong to an informal, cross-disciplinary group run by graduate students on campus—Conversations on Brain, Mind, and Behavior—and submitted a team application to the fellowship.